Long time readers have likely heard me complain that I can’t watch more than seven shows in a season and that four is the most I should follow. Well, Winter 2019 is shaping up to be an awesome season: yours truly went ahead and picked up ten anime. This amounts to 3.5 hours of anime per week or about 2% of the week. This seems doable. At any rate, let me get onto the anime without further ado.
1) Boogiepop and Others (Crunchyroll)
You know, I never watched the original series, Boogiepop Phantom; though, it’s on my list of things to do. Knowing about the original drew me to take a look at Boogiepop and Others. The opening arc kept me in my seat for the entire three episodes. It looks like your classic supernatural, monster-slaying anime set in a modern high school. The fights, the suspense, and the mysterious nature of the setting make for a very intriguing anime, and I look forward to more. Has anyone seen Boogiepop Phantom and would recommend it, by the way?
2) Dororo (Amazon)
I well expect Dororo will become my favorite anime of the season. The brilliant animation quality well lends itself to some spectacular fights and immersing the viewer into medieval Japan. The main character’s story, that of needing to defeat many demons in order to gain back parts of his body which these demons stole from him as a baby, actually makes for a compelling tale. Our hero comes across as humble with an amazing will to live, which makes him easy to root for. By the way, Dororo is based on a classic samurai anime from 1969, which I must get around to watching.
3) Kemurikusa (Amazon)
This stands as one of three anime I’m likely to drop. (So, I might end up watching seven anime after all!) The ambiance reminds me of Girls’ Last Tour. Our heroines live in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce. The death of a comrade and advent of a human boy cause them to leave their sanctuary and brave crossing a desolate world in the hope of finding a lake of fresh water. The animation is an ugly sort of CG, but I find the story interesting.
4) Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (Crunchyroll)
Yet another “Dark Magical Girl” anime: the violence is not for the faint of heart to put it mildly. Our heroine has left a world of war, torture, cruelty, and brutality in the hopes of leading a peaceful civilian life. However, various evil forces with designs on Japan refuse to let her be, and she enters the fray again in order to protect friends new and old. In contrast to Kemurikusa, the CG animation blends well with 2D animation in order to create some great battles. I’m expecting this anime to be one of my five favorite for the season.
5) The Magnificent KOTOBUKI (HIDIVE)
CG is big this season: here’s another such anime which gives off vibes of Arpeggio of Blue Steel and Girls und Panzer. The later resemblance is natural: Girls und Panzer and The Magnificent KOTOBUKI share the same director, Tsutomu Mizushima. In my opinion, the only thing which justifies CG in anime is the omnipresence of machines or robots. Hence, CG is a good choice for an anime featuring brilliant dogfights in WWII era Japanese fighters. Our heroines fly the feared Oscar or Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, in which aircraft the top Japanese aces scored the most kills in WWII. You would do well to brush up on Japanese military planes before watching.
6) Meiji Tokyo Renka (Crunchyroll)
Meiji Tokyo Renka may be described as a reverse-harem, supernatural, shoujo anime in which the heroine is transported to the Meiji Era. It strikes me as an amusing show with a sympathetic main character–very similar to the last shoujo I watched: Libra of Nil Admirari. Hopefully, this one won’t also have a sagging middle.
7) Mysteria Friends (Crunchyroll)
The superb quality of the animation drew me into this one. If episode two does not offer me something more than this being another magic high school anime, I might just drop it–but, the animation is on par with if not better than Dororo!
8) The Promised Neverland (Crunchyroll)
Another show I expect to rise to the top five. The concept behind this dark and disturbing show is very unique: kids within a putative orphanage are farmed out to monsters for supper! (The scenario is like something out of the world of The Melody of Oblivion.) Our heroes discover this and plan to escape, but the heroine wants to save all of the children. Trying to meet this impossible goal makes for a very compelling story. It has above average animation and decent characters.
9) The Rising of the Shield Hero (Crunchyroll)
Any lover of fantasy must see this anime. Books on fiction writing advise torturing the hero as much as possible. Shield Hero is tortured most acutely from the very first episode! Will he ever get his faith in humanity? Anyway, you’re in for a very good isekai anime with beautiful animation and a very sympathetic hero. My friends in Deluded Fruitcakes have their own take on it. Click here for that episode.
10) That Time I was Reincarnated as a Slime (Crunchyroll)
This is another solid fantasy continuing from the past season. You can bet that I have no desire to put it down! The first season deserves at least four stars if not more. Please take a listen to Deluded Fruitcakes’ take on episode 14 if you have time.
Well, that’s my list for Winter 2019. What shows are my dear readers’ favorites?